Clipped From The Baltimore Sun
HELPED ERECT, SUN BUILDING Mr. "Petherbridsre Also First To Take tip BillpoKtlngr Business. Mr. William O. Petherbridge, who helped to build the old Sun Iron Building and also has the distinction of being the first white man to engage In the bill-posting bill-posting bill-posting business here, celebrated his sixty-ninth sixty-ninth sixty-ninth birthday yesterday at his home, 421 Jefferson street, Homestead. Having little care for ceremony, Mr. Petherbridge Petherbridge spent the day entertaining old friends and relatives. Locomotor ataxia, which year after year Is taking the strength out of his legs, kept him In his big, comfortable comfortable armchair. Except for the pain In the muscles of his legs he is in excellent health and so strong is his memory that there are few things of interest in the city's history for DO or more years that he "annot recall. In 1852, when the old Sux Building was being erected, he was employed by A. & W. Denmead & Sons as. an apprentice machinist. machinist. If it had happened but a week ago no ,one could have pictured more vividly the scene about Baltimore and South streets at the time the first Iron building in the world was being erected. Progressive builders builders from the North, Mr. Petherbridge said, came to see the work done, and crowds from all parts of the city and surrounding country- country- watched with intense curiosity every move of the workmen. After the completion of The Sun Iron Building Mr. Petherbridge followed his trade, that of a machinist, for a few years, when he saw that billposting was likely to become a profitable business. Before that time all the posting had been done by a negro named Jackson, who lacked enterprise, enterprise, Mr. Petherbridge said. , With John B. Mann, a printer in The Sun Building, as a partner, he bought brushes, paste and ladders and plunged into the business with a determination to make It pay. When a show came to town, called the Russian War, he sent his men out with orders to post the bills on walls and fences as high as they could get them. Mr. Petherbridge began began to push his prices up and for a few years made as much as $80 a week. When his business was on the top wave of prosperity prosperity he heard that fortunes could be made in cattle-raising cattle-raising cattle-raising in Texas. He sold out and after the transaction had been closed word of a yellow fever epidemic in Texas made his party give up the plan of going thither.